Decoding PaaS Model Of Cloud Computing

by Priyanka Pugaokar    Jun 13, 2016

Mitesh Agarwal Vice President  Sales Consulting CTO Oracle India The business benefits of cloud computing are now well established. However, there is a lot of confusion among IT leaders about the different models of cloud computing, namely SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. It is crucial for enterprises to first understand the different needs of enterprise IT and select the cloud model that best fits their IT infrastructure. PaaS is increasingly becoming a popular choice for enterprises looking for a more agile solution for developing, testing and deploying various applications. Being one of the prominent Cloud solution providers, Oracle is aggressively focusing on Cloud, especially its PaaS solutions. 

In a candid interaction with CXO Today, Mitesh Agarwal, Vice President - Sales Consulting, CTO, Oracle India decodes PaaS for the better understanding of CIOs and also highlights Oracle’s roadmap in this space.

According to Gartner, the Platform as a Service (PaaS), is estimated to reach $2.9 billion in revenue worldwide by 2016. What are the key factors driving PaaS business globally?

Enterprises are now looking at deploying PaaS to eliminate the cost and complexity of managing the underlying application platform, most notably database, middleware, and infrastructure. PaaS enables companies shift software development costs from capital expenditures to operational ones, thanks to the service-oriented, pay-as-you-go delivery model of Cloud. 

The second growth driver for PaaS is – speed to market. Companies understand that speed to market is important for businesses competing for customers with dynamically changing needs. PaaS help companies with cloud and mobile enablement of their new and legacy applications while accelerating the delivery and scalability of these applications.

Despite its benefits, PaaS is still confusing to so many CIOs, especially in the emerging economies like India? How do you address the issue? 

While the business benefits of cloud computing are well known, it is true that there exists a lot of confusion between the three layers of cloud computing namely SaaS, PaaS & IaaS, especially the latter two. 

PaaS is the platform that is installed on top of this hardware layer. It enables rapid provisioning of resources to execute software production and deployment cycles. Developers can pick and choose what they need from prefabricated environments without being hampered by cumbersome authorisation and procurement processes, which are known to slow down the pace of production. Companies that have made heavy investments in on-premise IT infrastructure also benefit from the capability to implement cloud-based middleware and data management solutions that tie their modern digital front-end with existing back-end systems for integrated IT functionalities.

What should organizations consider while transitioning to PaaS?

It’s a myth that all cloud provides the same cost-performance benefit. Many cloud providers use low cost commodity servers which do not offer the performance, availability, scalability and the reliability organizations need. Therefore, organizations should be careful about choosing the right Cloud vendor for their PaaS solutions. They should avoid vendor lock-in by choosing a PaaS provider who adheres to industry standards; gives deployment options across public, private and hybrid cloud and offer capabilities to integrate data and business processes in and out of the cloud. 

Paying for the use of PaaS on a per‐minute or hourly basis may sound economical, but the costs are variable and can add up very quickly. Pay-per-use makes a lot of sense for short-term usage or large fluctuations in capacity needs. But fixed monthly or annual costs are often the better choice for long-term application deployments. Prepaid subscriptions can also offer significant cost benefits. So, consider what’s most economical for organization’s particular application.

Security is a critical aspect. Know that not all cloud security is equal and the best advice is to review organization’s cloud provider’s security technology and practices to understand any potential security risks.

How do you see IoT impacting adoption of PaaS among Indian enterprises?

In an IoT ecosystem, hundreds of devices with varied standards, operating systems, features and parameters come together and communicate to each other generating terabytes of data that then need to be analyzed to draw intelligent insights for smart decision making. PaaS allows companies to easily connect to IoT devices, analyze data in real-time and seamlessly integrate applications and business processes with IoT data.

With growing inclination of enterprises towards mobile applications, what key trends and business prospects do you see in this space? 

We stand at the threshold of a mobile apps revolution that has the power to change the way we do business, transforming both the external customer experience of the organization and the way business units work internally and with partners. We are already seeing pioneering companies build apps that are driving new revenue streams, enabling new forms of customer interaction and introducing new ways of working. 

However, to succeed, IT and business need to work together to define the right mobile strategy in an enterprise. Only the right blend of business, marketing, design, and technology expertise will enable the enterprise to succeed with business-to-employee (B2E) and business-to-consumer mobile (B2C) solutions. 

The need of the hour is to invest in a technology platform that allows you to “build once and deploy everywhere” across desktops, mobile devices and operating systems. In addition, as more personal devices connect to corporate network securing corporate data becomes critical. Therefore, organizations need to have security solutions that safeguards access to enterprise applications without interfering with how people use their devices for personal use.

What new Cloud offerings have you introduced in India? How will these offerings strengthen Oracle’s cloud play?

We have recently rolled out a new family of offerings that are designed to remove some of the biggest roadblocks that have prevented cloud adoption by the masses. Oracle Cloud at Customer is a set of breakthrough services that enable corporations to easily move business critical applications from on-premises to the cloud. These innovative services equip organizations to reap all of the benefits of the cloud – agility, simplicity, and subscription pricing – in their datacenter and behind their firewall.

Oracle Cloud at Customer gives customers full control over their data and allows them to meet all data sovereignty and data residency requirements; enables workload portability between on-premises and cloud; provides a path to easily move Oracle and non-Oracle workloads between on-premises and the cloud and mitigates risk while still providing access to the latest cloud innovations. 

The service strengthens our play in the Indian market because now companies in India including those bound by regulatory pressures, can leverage the cloud and speed up their business transformation as Oracle Cloud at Customer supports complete control over data, while facilitating data sovereignty and data residency requirements.

How do you address CIOs concerns about security issues aligned with Cloud deployment? 

We help companies have total control over access to their data on cloud with Oracle Managed Cloud Security Services. We take a layered approach to security by embedding robust controls into all activities. A multi-factor authentication service is used to protect managed cloud application environment against unauthorized access, gain real-time web fraud detection and prevention, and enable compliance with strong authentication requirements. 

We have a Single Sign-On Service that prevents unauthorized access to web applications while enhancing employee productivity and reducing your support costs. Features like Identity provisioning service helps speed up the provisioning of user accounts and application privileges while reducing the burden on your help desk.

In addition, we have specific services such as HIPAA Services, PCI Services, Government Services, Government Services, Database Security Services etc. to address the security requirements of different sectors.

What makes Oracle so bullish about PaaS technology in India? What is your go-to market strategy to increase Oracle’s cloud footprint in India?

We have a large installed base of Database and middleware customers and they want to take advantage of the flexibility, agility, and financial opportunities offered by Oracle PaaS. We will focus on them. For private cloud solutions, strategy is to fill the white-spaced accounts with cloud capabilities in the core products that we currently do not own and to expand the base by reaching out to more customers through our channel partners.